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Contents ......................................................................................................................................... 1 1. 2. INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................. 2 IDENTIFICATION AND STRUCTURE ............................................................................ 4

2.1 GRAMMATICAL FORMS IN AN ADJECTIVAL PHRASE ......................................... 4 Adverb Phrase in Adjective Phrases .................................................................................... 4 Prepositional Phrases in Adjective Phrases ........................................................................ 5 Verb Phrases in Adjective Phrases ...................................................................................... 5 Noun Clauses in Adjective Phrases ...................................................................................... 5 3. 4. 5. 6. ADJECTIVE AS THE HEAD .............................................................................................. 6 PREMODIFIERS OF THE ADJECTIVAL PHRASE ...................................................... 7 POSTMODIFIERS OF THE ADJECTIVAL PHRASE .................................................... 8 SYNTACTIC FUNCTIONS OF ADJECTIVE PHRASES ............................................... 9

6.1 ATRIBUTIVE AND PREDICATIVE FUNCTION ......................................................... 10 7. ADJECTIVE COMPLEMENT .......................................................................................... 12

7.1 OTHER COMPLEMENTS ................................................................................................ 12 8. POSTPOSITIVE ADJECTIVES ....................................................................................... 13

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................ 15

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~2~ . however. 1996. what are they meaning). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Sentence. With syntax and infinite number of sentences are possible. how words are arranged and how a writer (a person) has created a pattern with the words.ADJECTIVAL PHRASE 1. INTRODUCTION The study of sentence structure is called syntax. and because there is so little variation in the grammatical structure of English words. page: 308. which because of their Latinate origins paid little attention to the syntactic properties of sentences. that are formed by a small finite number of rules. Cambridge University Press. Oxford University Press. Sidney. Clause. Greenbaum. for example. culture and meaning. A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. about a certain writer such as. as in imperative sentences. a syntactic analysis forms the dominant element in a modern English grammar. Words can be arranged regular and irregular for a variety reasons to fulfil a purpose.1 Syntax takes the central part of language between morphology (shape of words) and semantics (which deals with a meaning of word. Examining syntax we can reveal a lot about. syntax is the part of grammar which treats of phrases and sentences. 1995. It describes how language is actually used and tries to come up with rules and successfully describe what various language communities consider to be grammatical or not grammatical. The basic structure of syntax is to refer to sentence structure.2 A sentence is a grammatical unit that is syntactically independent and has a subject that is expressed or. 1 2 Crystal. The area provides the main point of contrast with traditional grammars. There are three syntactical units in English language:    Phrase (word). understood and a predicate that contains at least one finite verb. A clause may be either a sentence (an independent clause) or a sentence-like construction within another sentence (a dependent clause). page: 214. The traditional definition of a sentence states that a sentence expresses a complete thought. Syntax is a discipline that examines the rules of language that dictate how the various parts of sentences go together. David. Without syntax there would be no foundation to connect meaning with a bunch of word strung together. Oxford English Grammar. his skills.

its structure and function. The red balloon soared upwards. but which lacks the subject-predicate structure usually found in a clause. page: 222. verbal phrase.A phrase is a syntactic construction which typically contains more than one word. A verbal phrase is a word group with a verb as its headword. its head and prepositional complement. if a verb. There are five types of phrases:      Nominal phrase.3 Phrases can be divided into endocentricwhen a phrase can be replaced by its head and exocentric. You must go right now. Phrases cannot stand alone and they do not express a complete thought. for example: (We depend on you. object and subject complement. Verbal phrase. etc. pronoun or proper name as its headword. David. Most of the phrases are endocentric. A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition. You have woken up everyone in the neighborhood). A verb phrase functions as a predicate. Adjectival phrase. ~3~ . Prepositional phrase. 3 Crystal. An adverb phrase is a word group with an adverb as its head. For example: (Marc usually gets up early. There are three classes of adverbials: adjunct (integrated within the structure of the clause). Adverbial phrase. Cambridge University Press. (rarely some verbal and adjectival phrase). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language.when it is not possible. 1995. As quickly as possible we cleaned the room. conjunct (connection between what is being said and what was said before). Phrases are classified into types based on the most important word they contain: if this is a noun. A cat is standing at the corner. for example. In the following text the emphasis is on an adjectival phrase. disjunct (not integrated within the sentence). This book is mine). the phrase would be noun phrase. I saw him in the park). A noun phrase can function as a subject. A nominal phrase is a word group with a noun. For example: (John was late. for example: (He did sing at the party. except prepositional phrase. Nearly everybody came to our party).

 Noun clauses. they define attributes characteristics.1 GRAMMATICAL FORMS IN AN ADJECTIVAL PHRASE In the English language.  Verb phrases.  Prepositional phrases. for example: (A big dog. The adjective phrase has as its head an adjective. 1996. A tall building. Adverb Phrase in Adjective Phrases Adverb phrases are the first grammatical form that can appear within adjective phrases in the English language. as far as meaning is concerned. page: 288. Jim is very impolite). 4 The structure of typical adjectival phrase is presented: ADJECTIVAL PHRASE (Premodifiers) + Adjective + (Postmodifiers) 2. 4 Greenbaum. Sidney. four grammatical forms can appear within an adjective phrase:  Adverb phrases. ~4~ . Adjectives are sometimes called “describing words” in that. usually making its meaning more specific. Adverb phrases are defined as phrases that are formed by an adverb plus any adverb phrase modifiers. Oxford University Press. An adjective qualifies or modifies a noun. IDENTIFICATION AND STRUCTURE Adjective is a descriptive word that qualifies and describes nouns.2. For example: (This is a rather strange situation. adjectives. A beautiful boy). pronouns or noun phrase. which may be preceded by premodifiers and followed by postmodifiers. and other adverbs. Oxford English Grammar. Adverbs are traditionally defined as words that describe verbs. Adverb phrases perform the grammatical function of adjective phrase modifier in English adjective phrases.

modifiers. Noun clauses are defined as subordinate clauses that consist of a subordinating conjunction following by a clause. Verb phrases perform the grammatical function of adjective phrase complement in English adjective phrases. particles." Verb phrases are defined as phrases that are formed by a verb plus any auxiliary verbs. That woman is hopeful that her boyfriend will propose). For example: (She is sad that her child is ill. while prepositional phrase. Noun Clauses in Adjective Phrases Noun clauses are the fourth grammatical form that can appear within adjective phrases in the English language. Prepositions are traditionally defined as words the relate nouns. Note: Adverb phrases always precede the main adjective in English adjective phrases. For example: My father is fond of sports cars (complement).suite101. The students are curious to learn more about the syntax). Noun clauses perform the grammatical function of adjective phrase complement in English adjective phrases. Verb Phrases in Adjective Phrases Verb phrases in the form of infinitives are the third grammatical form that can appear within adjective phrases in the English language. or complements. Verbs are traditionally defined as "action or state of being words.5 5 http://heather-marie-kosur. Prepositional phrases perform the grammatical functions of both adjective phrase complement and adjective phrase modifier in English adjective phrases.Prepositional Phrases in Adjective Phrases Prepositional Phrases are the second grammatical form that can appear within adjective phrases in the English language. verbal phrase and noun phrase always follow the main adjective in English adjective phrases. For example: (My dog is eager to learn new tricks. The bread is mouldy along the top crust (modifier).com/the-adjective-phrase-in-english-a150934.5.2012 ~5~ . infinitive markers. and verbs to other words. adjectives. date: 2.

French. page: 117. There may be very little difference between a noun phrase and an adjective phrase in structures where the adjectives occur before the word it qualifies. Most noun phrases consist of a head noun plus one or more adjectives. old. bleak. 1990. Quirk. A Student's Grammar of the English Language.6 Most commonly. white. small. Sidney.  However. He's an extraordinary looking man). determiners. cotton. biting weather. This adjective may be accompanied by modifiers. or indeed an adjective phrase itself. As such. fishing boat. the Head word can be an adjective (A poisonous snake) and participle (I am so excited. they do not inflect for number or for the genitive case and must take a definite determiner. ~6~ . big. British. This is an interesting book). square. abbreviated as disc-mod. plastic. Addison Wesley Publishing Company. It is also possible to have a modifier that is partly in front and partly behind the head. we can change adjective order only when we want to emphasize some particular characteristic of the noun. For example: (It was cold. or even a clause. Adjectives can often function as heads of noun phrases. The rich will help only the humble poor). black. Randolph. but the postmodifiers can be an adverb phrase. An adjective phrase consists of an adjective which may be preceded and/or followed by other words. ADJECTIVE AS THE HEAD In an adjectival phrase. A beautiful. The premodifier is always an adverb phrase. knitting bag. these are: Position 1st Opinion Nice Beautiful 2nd Size Small Big 3rd Age New Old 4th 5th 6th 7th 8 th Shape Color Origin Material Purpose Square Black British Cotton Knitting Round White French Plastic Fishing For example: She had a nice. called a discontinuous modifier. 6 Greenbaum. there is a general rule for the position of each type adjective. such adjectives have personal reference: (The young is spirit enjoy life. new. round. and/or qualifiers. a prepositional phrase.3. Note: If we have more than one adjective in front of the noun. The wise look to the wiser for advice.

extremely. It is extremely bad for you. the premodifier is an intensifier8 (adverbs of degree such as: very. Some of the intensifiers are combinations of words. I found it rather tight. He went from the sublime to the ridiculous. Very cannot intensify comparatives. There are two kinds of such adjectives. Geoffrey. Adjectives are premodified chiefly by adverbs. both with generic reference. 7 8 Leech. So I think it's slightly lighter).  An abstract quality (singular): the absurd – „that which is absurd‟.Such adjectives normally take a definite determiner. Intensifiers may also modify comparatives. for example. 4.7 For example:  A class of people (plural): the rich – „those who are rich‟.). PREMODIFIERS OF THE ADJECTIVAL PHRASE A premodifier is a modifier placed before the head. Things went from bad to worse). though it can occur in intensifier combinations such as very much. Sidney. page: 290. For example: (That was a very fun movie. those denoting a class of people and those denoting an abstract quality. where the adjectives are linked by a conjunction or a preposition. and they have no plural inflection. The industrious Dutch are admired by their neighbours). Oxford English Grammar. 1975. Oxford University Press. Jan. (You French and we British ought to be allies. Third edition. The English have been called „a nation of shopkeepers‟. A communicative grammar of English. The intensifier may itself be intensified. The latest thing is that he is going to run for the President). However. I know her quite well). such as sort of and a bit. (Some people enjoy the mystical and the supernatural in literature. quite. I'd be quite keen to try anything like that really. Longman. rather. page: 176. really etc. deeply in is intensified by too. for example: (Actually Simon can't be too much older than us. Very is the most common intensifier. Generally. the article is sometimes omitted before adjective heads in parallel phrases. good luck). very is the most common intensifier of superlatives (My very best wishes to you both. for example: (Education should be for both young and old. Svartvik. usually the definite article. However. Greenbaum. where very is an intensifier of much. ~7~ . I feel so much better now. 1996.

Here are some examples:  Prepositional phrase (I was afraid of him. frightening mad. mighty fine. ~8~ . prepositional phrases and various kinds of clauses. Adjectives are typically postmodified by adverbs enough or too. premodifires certain adjectives. mostly having an unfavorable sense. She is worried about the results of the test. 5.  That-clause (I feel sure that some day it will be published. pretty good). Your father is disappointed with your behaviour). dead right. as an informal synonym of completely. Nouns used adverbially (sky blue. for example: (He is all upset. I am confident that you will success). time immemorial.participle (freezing cold. POSTMODIFIERS OF THE ADJECTIVAL PHRASE A post modifier is a modifier placed after the head. boiling hot. resources available). ALL. Qualitative adverbs . technically possible. Your brother is all wrong). I am certain that you will pass the exam. money necessary.Here is an example of the use of the intensifying adverb very to pre-modify the head adjective happy: Adverbs as premodifiers of adjectives may also be 'viewpoint' as in politically expedient ('expedient from a political point of view'). theoretically sound.

This meal is very good to eat. Oxford English Grammar.  To-infinitive clause (I was glad to hear of your success. page: 290. Sidney. WH-clause (Yes you have to be careful what's available in what color. We are curious what he will do next. She was very tired when she came back from the training). 1996.  Premodifier of a noun (Well it's a much less popular route). He is too proud to accept that he was wrong). I mean Marc was extraordinarily ugly).  Subject predicative (No. 6.  Adverbs enough and too (The tea is not cold enough for me to drink it.  Comparative clause (No I'm sure it's easier than they say). Oxford University Press.  -ing participle clause (But police were busy handing out letters about the operation to residents and Marc Smith was happy with the result). 9 Greenbaum. They are listed below:  Nominal adjective (Tonight I hope you'll not mind if I eschew the academic and pursue a more earthy albeit reflective tack analyzing the soil within which citizenship can root and thrive). SYNTACTIC FUNCTIONS OF ADJECTIVE PHRASES The two major functions of adjective phrases are as premodifier of a noun and as subject predicative9. ~9~ . We are all anxious to meet your family).

 Object predicative (He is opening his mouth very wide just now). (one who has been a friend for a long period of time) does not necessarily imply that the person is old. old and weary. so that we cannot relate my old friend to my friend is old. Longman. Old refers to the friendship and does not characterize the person! In that use. 6. His main argument). there was no one close). The same case is with the phrase my new friend .He was formerly my friend). an old friend.  Complement of a preposition (John doesn't finish till late). Postmodifler of a pronoun (There would still be eyes watching and wondering from a distance but. For example: (The beautiful painting. Harlow. Randolph. when they appear between the determiner and the head of the noun phrase. Svartvik. Geoffrey. A comprehensive grammar of the English language. Adjectives that are restricted to attributive position or that occur mostly in attributive position do not characterize the referent of the noun directly.*my friend is new. briefly. ~ 10 ~ . Sidney.He was till lately the president). Leech. 1985.1 ATRIBUTIVE AND PREDICATIVE FUNCTION Most adjectives can be both attributive and predicative. 10 Quirk. adjective is used only attributively. (An occasional visitor – She was occasionally a visitor). Jan. sat heavily down).  Other adjectives that are attributive only can be related to adverbials: (My former friend . For example. page: 433. Greenbaum. Adjectives are attributive when they premodify nouns.  Some require implications additional to the adverb: (The late president .  Postmodifler of a noun (The waitress. but some are either attributive only or predicative only10.

(A medical school = a school for students of medicine). If the adjectives premodify agentive nouns. think. feel. name). (A big eater .a car that one drives fast).  Some groups of adjectives are usually restricted to predicative position: The most common is group of adjectives referring to health or lack of health (faint. ill. continue) and function as subject complement. for example: He pushed the window open.  Some adjectives derived from nouns.  The adjectives functioning as object complement often expresses the result of the process denoted by the verb. tastes. My mother painted the room blue. find. called denominal adjectives. look. (We found that the place is absolutely delightful). (A fast car . ~ 11 ~ . Your daughter is pretty. well) for example: (She felt faint. remain. believe. I feel awful this morning). grow. (As a result. for example: (This girl is so beautiful. (An excellent pianist . for example: We found the place absolutely delightful. (The room is blue now). the window was then open). Adjectives used predicatively are placed after linking verbs (copulas) like (be.a worker who works hard).someone who eats a great deal).  Adjectives which are used predicatively only refer to a condition rather than to characterize. sound. (Criminal law = law concerning crime). smell. (An atomic scientist = a scientist specializing in atomic science). seem. are attributive only. an adjective suggest as well a relationship to the verb base: (A hard worker .a pianist who plays the piano excellently). He is seriously ill). You look well.  Predicative adjectives can also function as object complement after verbs like (consider.

loath (to). The parents are happy for the new couple). taste. like the adjective complement. ADJECTIVE COMPLEMENT An adjective complement is a clause or phrase that adds to the meaning of an adjective or modifies it. here are some examples: (She was hesitant to tell her parents.1 OTHER COMPLEMENTS There are subject complements. become. here are some examples: (My sister is fond of animal. was. A subject complement comes after a linking verb. object complements. The flowers grow taller each day). conscious (that. He is afraid of dark. fond (of). Examples are: (Whales are beautiful. The food smells delicious. ATTRIBUTIVE The woman is sick. such as afraid (of. attributively and predicatively: The sick woman. 7. smell. of). 7. are. She is the star. The child was eager for Christmas to arrive). that. I need a ride to the bank. Trolls live under the bridge. Examples include: (It came with the car. Many children are apprehensive to try new food. and verb complements. grow. and feel. The boss was anxious to promote sales. It is important to remember that the adjective precedes the adjective complement. Are you afraid of spiders? We were shocked by the news. The adjective complement always follows the adjective it complements and it is a noun clause or a prepositional phrase. PREDICATIVE  Another much larger group of adjectives are adjectives that can or must take complementation. Park the car next to the building). Subject and object complements can be one or more words and verb complements are a phrase or clause.*SICK is exception among these „health‟ adjectives because they can be used both. A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition and modifies nouns and verbs. about). like: is. He was ashamed of himself for behaving so badly. ~ 12 ~ . We can eat dinner after the show. seem.

They will describe the object or rename it. It can be a noun. or a group of words that act like a noun or adjective. as in: (I considered leaving the Army). Quirk. Randolph. It can use infinitives.  Object complements follow a direct object and modify it. (The newspaper (which) first reported the incident is being sued).  Noun clauses can be verb complements like in a sentence: (He insisted that he pay the check). 8. for example: (I enjoyed the concert (that) we went last night). Examples are: (That should keep them happy. For example: (The crystals are not completely formed). I knight you Sir Peter. for example: 11 Greenbaum.  Gerunds can be a part of the verb complement. an adjective. Addison Wesley Publishing Company. Reduced relative clause is a clause in which relative pronoun can be omitted without disturbing grammatical meaning.  Postposition is obligatory for a few adjectives which have a special meaning when they occur after the noun. The students were excited). A postposed adjective (together with any complementation it may have) can usually be regarded as a reduced relative clause11. The most common are probably elect (soon to take office) and proper (as strictly defined). Sometimes a verb can act as an adjective. Sidney. A Student's Grammar of the English Language. like in a sentence: (She wanted him to leave). POSTPOSITIVE ADJECTIVES Adjectives can sometimes be postpositive when they follow the item they modify. page: 116. (The people (who) you met at the party last night are all old friends of mine). ~ 13 ~ .  A verb complement acts as an object of a verb in either a direct or indirect way. 1990.

secretary general. etc). sum total. Everyone concerned should read instructions). The City of London proper). -where can be modified only postpositively. A peach. court martial. notary public. old but comfortable. -one. -thing. I would like to wear something blue. for example: (This girl.(The president elect. sweet and beauty. beautiful and friendly.  Indefinitive pronouns ending in –body. here are some examples: (I want to go somewhere nice. ~ 14 ~ . body politic. heir apparent. kind. An armchair.  Postpositions have adjectives which originated from French: (Attorney general. Soldiers timid or cowardly don't fight well).  Coordinated adjective phrases can also be used postpositively.

David. 4. Leech. Sidney. Geoffrey. 1975. Greenbaum. http://heather-marie-kosur. Crystal. Oxford English Grammar. Longman. Jan. A comprehensive grammar of the English language. 6. 1985. 1990. 1995. Svartvik. Geoffrey. Greenbaum. 5. Svartvik. Quirk. Leech. 2.com/the-adjective-phrase-in-english-a150934 ~ 15 ~ . A communicative grammar of English. Third edition. Sidney. Randolph. Longman. Jan. Addison Wesley Publishing Company. Greenbaum.suite101.REFERENCES: 1. A Student's Grammar of the English Language. Harlow. 3. 1996. Cambridge University Press. Randolph. Sidney. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Oxford University Press. Quirk.

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